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Tiger Woods undergoes fourth back surgery

Woods will be out for at least six months
At last there is some positive news about the ongoing battles Tiger Woods has experienced with back pain and spasms with the announcement on his website that he has undergone successful surgery to alleviate pain in his back and leg.

It was the fourth bout of surgery Woods has had on the back in the last three years.

"The surgery went well, and I'm optimistic this will relieve my back spasms and pain," Woods said. "When healed, I look forward to getting back to a normal life, playing with my kids, competing in professional golf and living without the pain I have been battling so long."   

According to his website the operation was performed by Dr. Richard Guyer of the Center for Disc Replacement at the Texas Back Institute. The procedure was a minimally invasive Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (MIS ALIF) at L5/S1. The surgery entailed removing the damaged disc and re-elevating the collapsed disc space to normal levels. This allows the one vertebrae to heal to the other. The goal is to relieve the pressure on the nerve and to give the nerve the best chance of healing. 

"After he recovers from surgery, he will gradually begin his rehabilitation until he is completely healed," Guyer said. "Once that's accomplished, his workouts will be geared to allowing him to return to competitive golf. "If you are going to have single-level fusion, the bottom level is the best place for it to occur. Some individuals are born with one less vertebrae, which would be similar to someone who had a single-level fusion."

The rehabilitation is expected to take up to six months so the likelihood of Woods competing again in 2017 appears rare.

Woods last played an event when competing or at least attempting to compete in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in early February but was forced to withdraw prior to the second round as a result of a back spasm following his opening round of 77.

After a record breaking collective total of 683 weeks at the top of the World Ranking, Woods has now slipped to number 788 and will no doubt slip further before hopefully beginning the comeback later this year or early in 2018.  



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